South Dakota Cattleman Becomes New NCBA President

| February 3, 2023

NEW ORLEANS (February 3, 2023) – Todd Wilkinson, a South Dakota native, cow-calf producer and cattle feeder became the new NCBA president during the 2023 Cattle Industry Convention, held this week in New Orleans. Wilkinson, along with his son, operates Wilkinson Livestock in De Smet, South Dakota. He has also practiced law for almost four decades and specializes in business transactions, estate planning and probate, real estate matters and agricultural law.

“If you run into me across the country, one thing that I will say time and again is if you’re going to be in the industry don't just talk the talk, you need to walk the walk. My philosophy going into this next year is that I'm going to put on boxing gloves and I'm going to be swinging for the industry,” Wilkinson said. “I'm going to bring the same level of passion that I bring for my own family and business to this organization. I think it’s important to fight back and protect this industry from the people who want to put us out of business. I also think this is something that will unite cattle producers in the future.”

The 2023 NCBA officer team, approved by the NCBA board of directors, took office at the end of this year’s convention. Mark Eisele of Wyoming was named president-elect and Buck Wehrbein of Nebraska was elected vice president. Brad Hastings of Texas was named NCBA treasurer. Virginia cattleman Gene Copenhaver was elected chair of the NCBA Policy Division. Tim Schwab of Indiana was elected policy vice chair. Clark Price of North Dakota and Dan Gattis of Texas were elected as chair and vice chair of the NCBA Federation division, respectively.

Wilkinson’s focus during his time as president will be pushing back on issues that threaten the livelihoods of cattlemen and women across the country, while bringing people together to stand as a united front.

“Aside from the cost of doing business being a challenge for us right now, I’m looking down the road at the regulatory environment that could pose a real threat,” he said. “We have to unite on these big issues and some common themes. If we don’t, we are going to get squished.”  

Wilkinson will make sure NCBA works to protect its members from regulatory attacks under Waters of the United States, the Endangered Species Act and emissions reporting, to name a few. The Farm Bill will be a large focus for NCBA in the coming year as the organization works to secure reauthorization of animal health provisions, expanding the accessibility and funding of risk management and disaster relief programs while protecting voluntary conservation programs. Tax issues are also top of mind in the coming year and Wilkinson’s expertise in this area was critical to backing down harmful tax proposals from the Biden administration last year.

“Part of the reason that I'm doing this is to make sure that this industry is here for my grandchildren and their grandchildren. I want them to have the opportunity to come back on this piece of ground and run cattle 100 years from now. I'm passionate about NCBA and I won't back up an inch on my commitment to this organization. As long as I am walking this earth, I want to make things a little bit better and NCBA is one of those ways that I think I can do that,” Wilkinson said.